Nightmare Fuel — The ZoZo Phenomena

 

Hello Addicts,

If you are a regular user of Ouija boards, then many of you have probably heard of this week’s Nightmare Fuel topic. If not, allow me to introduce you to… the ZoZo Phenomenon.

Let me start by explaining, for those just new to the horror realms what an Ouija board is. Sometimes referred to as a spirit board, an Ouija board is some form of a flat surface, most of the time wood or cardboard, with the alphabet, the numbers 0-9, and common words such as “yes”, “no”, and “goodbye”. You place your fingers lightly on a device called a planchette and wait for the spirits to begin moving it around. Once a connection with a spirit is made, you can ask it questions, which the entity answers by moving the planchette to different parts of the board. Because of the nature of people in moving the planchette, whether deliberately or subconsciously, there is a certain level of uncertainty in the effectiveness of the device. What makes the ZoZo Phenomena particularly interesting is a number of people reporting it from around the world before it became a talked about thing, since 1816 according to the earliest stories.

The beginnings of the stories share this similarity, an Ouija board session is started and an entity identifying itself as ZoZo (or sometimes ZaZa or ZoSo). From there, the stories diverge drastically. Some people have reported things like the spirit providing an answer to questions it had no reason to know and impersonating others just to frighten the users of the board. Others have reported bumps, bangs, and threatening messages. Still, others have experienced possession and death threats/predictions. For one person, in particular, ZoZo not only predicted how he was going to die but used the man’s ex to attempt to bring it into being when she stabbed him to death.

Some people say that ZoZo is simply a mischievous spirit or a collection of copycat spirits. Others claim that it is a demon bent on creating as much mayhem, death, and pain as possible. It may also be the result of mass hysteria, deep-seated human fears, or an urban legend. I myself think that ZoZo is a collection or mix and match of all of the above. One thing is for certain, the ZoZo Phenomena is one that should not be taken lightly or ignored, especially if you use an Ouija board.

Until next time, Addicts…

D.J. Pitsiladis

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Review : HorrorAddicts Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam Bealby

Review: HorrorAddicts Horror Bites: Alice’s Scars by Adam Bealby

 

As the editor of this HorrorBites Story, I had the opportunity to not only read it early but often. What a story to choose to read multiple times. I remember where I was when I found out what happened to Alice, and you will too. This story is a great one to be told. It is told as if Adam is recounting a memory of  Alice he once knew. He was able to give us a short, small glimpse of what bipolar disorder does to the one with it and those that love them.

I have noticed recently several horror writers have been writing stories of mental illness from depression to bipolar. Sometimes, mental illness is more horrific than any fiction writer could ever tell. Lifting the stigma of these illnesses will allow us to advance in not only understanding but possibly curing them. It was hard for “Adam” ( as the narrator) to love Alice, as it is very hard to love someone who is ill and may or may not be getting treatment.

Of course, how he describes the discovery of Alice’s scars and the progression of his understanding Alice was great. There were a couple other scenes in the story that he was great at conveying using the world of Alice and Wonderland to help his characters along their purpose. You definitely feel like you are going through the recounted events and see it in a world familiar with Wonderland.

So, I invite you to get this story and spend a quick break reading it. I promise you won’t return the same.

 

If you have enjoyed this story, please let us know by email: horroraddicts@gmail.com or leave a review on Amazon.

 

Adam L. Bealby writes fantasy, horror and weird fiction for both adults and children. His short stories and comic work have been published in numerous anthologies, including Spooked (Bridge House Publishing), Pagan (Zimbell House Publishing), Darkness Abound (Migla Press), Once Upon a Scream (HorrorAddicts.net), Sirens (World Weaver Press), World Unknown Review Vol. 2, rEvolution (MiFiWriters) and Murky Depths magazine. He lives in Worcestershire, UK with his wife and three children, and a harried imagination. Catch up with his latest ravings at @adamskilad.

 

 

 

 

By The Fire: Episode 146: Challenge 11: Write a 5-6 minute Horror Audio Drama

Hello, Addicts, how time flies, we are getting towards the end of The Next Great Horror Writer contest and we have another tough challenge to talk about. In episode 146 of the HorrorAddicts.net podcast, the challenge for The Next Great Horror Writer is to write a 5-6 minute horror audio drama. This is another one of those challenges that doesn’t sound too hard but really is. At first glance, 5-6 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot but when you write it out, that’s 6 pages of script. Contestants will be judged on creativity, entertainment value, and concept. Contestants have to come up with their own characters and own idea, they can’t use anyone else’s characters or established story. Winner will get their audio drama produced for the show.

One great thing about this contest is that the participants are really getting tested in every aspect of writing. They have had interviews, short stories, commercials, nonfiction blog posts and other challenges. An audio drama is another form of writing that is very different from any other form of writing. When I think of audio dramas I think of the old radio plays from the thirties and forties. Radio plays are kind of a lost art form but if you look for them you can still find podcasts dedicated to this art. The horroraddicts.net podcast has had a few good audio dramas throughout the years.

Audio dramas are very different from reading a short story or novel, the story is always important but in this case, you have to tell a lot of your story in dialogue form. You also probably need a narrator to set up the story and you have to consider what kind of sound effects you would need. Finding voice actors may be something that has to be considered also.

So Addicts, do you enjoy listening to audio dramas? If so what are some of your favorites and what makes an audio drama good? I think the right voice actors play a big part in it but you also have to come up with good characters, a good setting and a great story idea. So what do you think the contestants will come up with and who do you think will do the best job? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Press Release: Night of the Penguins by Dani Brown

Press Release: Night of the Penguins

Overthrowing cults with the aid of a new God

 

A secret cult operates at the zoo Carla works at. They pay doesn’t keep food in her cupboards.  All her clothes are second hand. There isn’t enough money to cope with management, preferred employees, and customers.

Starving before her wages land in her pay packet, Carla walks up the hill to steal some food from the zoo.  She isn’t alone. Induction night for the cult happens at the same place. They need sacrifices to the old Gods to maintain power.

Carla knew management were too stupid to keep power on their own. She didn’t realize the help was supernatural. She hides, looking for morsels to ear. Management know someone is there.

Left with no choice, and nothing to eat, Carla must overthrow the cult. It isn’t a simple case of one bad employer, but many. For underpaid, under-appreciated employees everywhere, Carla stands up aided by a new God.

Dani Brown is the author of “My Lovely Wife” and “Middle Age Rae of F***ing Sunshine” (both out now from Morbidbooks). When she isn’t writing she enjoys knitting and thinking of the finer points of invading Finland with an army of chavs mounted on dingoes. She has an unhealthy obsession with Mayhem’s drummer and doesn’t trust anyone who claims Velvet Underground as their favourite band.

Dani Brown can be reached at the following:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/dani.brown.5074644

Twitter: @crazycatlady4

#NGHW Winner of the Audiodrama Challenge

Winner of the Audiodrama Challenge

SECONDHAND HEART BY DAPHNE STRASERT

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER, BURST OF STATIC  

Dr. Artz: (MONOTONE, BORED) August fourth, two-thousand-seventeen. Doctor Hugh Artz, attending psychiatrist. Patient Delilah Bunker.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Delilah: (RAMBLING) It’s stupid—really—and I know that it’s crazy—

Dr. Artz: It’s not crazy if it seems real to you.

Delilah: You say that, but I don’t feel right. I feel like… (HUFF) I live alone, you know? But I keep finding things in places that I didn’t leave them. Like, my hair brush in the dishwasher or the salt and pepper shakers in the freezer.

Sound: PAPERS SHUFFLING, CLICK OF A PEN

Dr. Artz: How long has this been happening?

Delilah: Ever since the surgery.

Dr. Artz: (CONFIRMING) The heart transplant?

Delilah: Yeah.

Dr. Artz: It is normal for patients to feel anxiety after a major operation, especially one as involved as an organ transplant.

Delilah: But it doesn’t feel like stress. It—it feels like someone’s haunting me.

Sound: CLICK OF A PEN

Dr. Artz: Is that something you believe in? Hauntings?

Delilah: I— (PAUSE) (RESIGNED) No, of course not. That would be ridiculous.

Dr. Artz: I want you to be honest with me, Delilah. These sessions are for you. I don’t pass any judgement.

Delilah: (PAUSE) I never thought I did before—ghosts and spirits… all that—they were just stories.

Dr. Artz: And now?

Delilah: Now… I swear I’m closing more doors in my house than I open.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Dr. Artz: (MONOTONE, BORED) August eleventh, two-thousand-seventeen. Patient Delilah Bunker.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Dr. Artz: How are you feeling? You look…

Delilah: Tired? (SELF-MOCKING LAUGH) Yeah, I haven’t been sleeping much.

Dr. Artz: Why is that?

Delilah: Just, this whole past week—I don’t know. (INCREASINGLY AGITATED) I don’t know how to explain it…

Dr. Artz: (SOOTHING) Take your time. You’re safe here.

Delilah: I think there’s something wrong with it… with the heart.

Dr. Artz: (ALARMED) Have you spoken with your physician about this?

Delilah: No, no, it’s not like that. It isn’t anything… physical. I just—I haven’t felt like myself. I walked into my house the other day and it was like I’d never been there before. Like some sort of weird, reverse déjà vu. I don’t… feel right.

Dr. Artz: Is this the same feeling you had before? That you’re haunted?

Delilah: Yeah, except it’s worse now. It’s all the time. And… and I’ve started seeing things.

Sound: CLICK OF A PEN, PEN SCRATCHING ON PAPER

Dr. Artz: What sorts of things?

Delilah: (HESITANTLY) I went into the bathroom last night and… I didn’t turn on the light, but I saw something in the mirror. A woman, standing where I was supposed to be. But, not me.

Dr. Artz: It was dark. It was probably your reflection, a trick of the light.

Delilah: I don’t think it was. She didn’t look like me and she wasn’t facing the same way. I was walking by. She was… watching me.

I turned on the light, but then she was gone.

Dr. Artz: (PAUSE) Delilah, I’m going to prescribe you something that’s going to help you rest. These things you’re seeing, they may be caused by your insomnia. You’ll feel better once you get some sleep.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Sound: TELEPHONE RING

Dr. Artz: (DISTANT, AUTOMATIC) You have reached the confidential voicemail box of Doctor Hugh Artz. If this is a medical emergency, hang up and dial nine-one-one.

Sound: AUDIBLE BEEP, RUSTLE OF PHONE OVER FABRIC

Delilah: (FRIGHTENED, BREATHLESS) Doctor Artz? It’s Delilah. I… I don’t know where I am. The last thing I remember was making dinner and then… now… I’m here. Wherever here is.

I’m in a neighborhood, but I don’t recognize the houses. I don’t know how I got here. I’m not even wearing any shoes. It’s dark now, but I swear it was light when I was cooking.

I think that it’s—whatever it is—is getting worse. I’m getting worse. I need to see you.

Sound: RUSTLE OF PHONE OVER FABRIC, AUDIBLE BEEP

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Dr. Artz: August eighteenth, two-thousand-seventeen. Patient Delilah Bunker.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Sound: FOOTSTEPS ON WOOD

Dr. Artz: Delilah, won’t you sit down?

Delilah: No. No. I don’t want to sit down. I don’t want—

Dr. Artz: (SOOTHING) That’s alright, that’s fine. However you’re comfortable. How have you been sleeping?

Delilah: (HYSTERICAL GIGGLE) Sleeping? Yeah right. That’s what she’s waiting for. For me to be vulnerable.

Dr. Artz: Who…? (ALARMED) Is someone trying to hurt you?

Delilah: I’m not myself. Not anymore. I don’t remember parts of the day, hours at a time. I wake up in strange places. I keep… forgetting things. Important things. Like my parent’s names. I don’t think it’s me doing it. I think—I think it’s her.

Dr. Artz: You said that. Who are you talking about?

Delilah: The woman in the mirror. I took her heart.

Dr. Artz: Delilah…

Delilah: I know it’s crazy, but it’s her. She wants her heart back.

Dr. Artz: Delilah, the figure in the mirror was a trick of your mind. You don’t know anything about where your heart came from. You don’t know what the donor looked like or if they even were a woman. Your heart is—

Delilah: It’s not my heart! Don’t you see that? It never was.

Dr. Artz: (PAUSE)(PROFESSIONAL, DETERMINED) Delilah, I’m going to make a few calls to some colleagues of mine. I’m going to get you a place in a psychiatric care facility.

Delilah: No!

Dr. Artz: (LOUDER OVER HER PROTEST) Where they will be better able to monitor and care for you.

Delilah: No, you don’t know. They can’t help me!

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Dr. Artz: April third, two-thousand-eighteen. Doctor Hugh Artz, attending psychiatrist. Patient Delilah Bunker.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

Dr. Artz: It’s been a while, Delilah.

Delilah: (CHEERFUL) It has. It’s good to see you again.

Dr. Artz: How are you feeling?

Delilah: Great. God, looking back at it now, it just all seems so surreal. I can’t thank you enough. If it weren’t for you, I would have lost my mind.

Dr. Artz: I’m glad to hear that things are going better.

Delilah: Much. Thank—

Sound: CLATTER OF A CHAIR, DULL THUMP

Dr. Artz: (ALARMED) Delilah? Delilah are you—?

Sound: STRUGGLE, WRESTLING

Delilah: (HOARSE, FRIGHTENED) You have to help me. Please! It’s not me. Don’t believe her. I’m still in here. I’m still—(CHOKING)

Sound: SILENCE

Dr. Artz: Delilah?

Delilah: (DEEP BREATH)(CALM)Yes. Sorry. That was—gosh, I don’t know what came over me. It’s okay. Everything is fine now.

Sound: CLICK OF A TAPE RECORDER

 


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

#NGHW Runners Up in Audiodrama Challenge

These are the top two runners-up for the Audiodrama Challenge

2nd Place

CONSUMPTION BY JONATHAN FORTIN

SFX: OFFICE BACKGROUND NOISE—PHONES RINGING, PAPERS SHUFFLING, ETC.

AMY: …No, sir, this isn’t the phone number you want for that. You want—I’m sorry, sir, I know it’s very frustrating. I want to help you, but the phone number you want is—OK, fine, hang up.

DORI: Another irate customer?

AMY: Yeah, nothing but angry people all day. Is it always like this?

DORI: Not always. Don’t worry, Amy. You’ll get used to it. You’ll be part of the team sooner than you think!

SFX: PHONE RINGS.

AMY: Hello?

SFX: STATIC HUMMING FROM THE PHONE, FOLLOWED BY A STRANGE GROWLING NOISE.

AMY: Anyone there?

VOICE ON PHONE: We can smell you.

AMY: What?

SFX: CLICK. LINE GOES DEAD.

DORI: Are you all right?

AMY: (NERVOUS) Fine…I’m fine.

SFX: FOOTSTEPS IN AN EMPTY STREET. AMY IS WALKING HOME NOW. IT’S A QUIET NIGHT AND EVERY NOISE SEEMS ESPECIALLY LOUD.

AMY: (MUTTERING TO HERSELF) No need to get worked up, Amy. It was just a weird phone call. Aaaand now of course I’m in a deserted street, but no need to get worked up about that either. You always walk home this way. You’ve never been mugged before and you probably won’t be now.

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: …Yeah, not going to answer that.

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: Really hope this isn’t an important call from work though…

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: Augh, fine! Hello?

SFX: STATIC HUM. THEN A CREEPY CLICKING, THROBBING, WRIGGLING NOISE APPEARS, FOLLOWED BY THE SAME DISTORTED GROWL AS BEFORE.

VOICE ON PHONE: We can hear you.

AMY: (NERVOUS) Who is this?

SFX: LINE GOES DEAD. THEN RUNNING FOOTSTEPS

AMY: (PANTS AS SHE RUNS)

SFX: DOOR SLAMS.

AMY: (BREATHES HEAVILY IN RELIEF, HAVING JUST GOTTEN HOME)

BLAKE: Honey, are you all right?

AMY: I don’t want to talk about it. Is there any beer in the fridge?

BLAKE: Put some in an hour ago. Want me to order a pizza?

AMY: Do whatever you want, Blake.

BLAKE: Well…if you don’t want pizza, I could make something else.

AMY: (OVERWHELMED) Blake, I just don’t want to have to think about it, okay? (PAUSE) Sorry. Didn’t mean to snap at you. Today’s just been awful.

BLAKE: It’s okay. I know you’re having a hard time adjusting.

AMY: It’s not just that—though that doesn’t help. God, maybe it is that. Maybe I’m just going crazy.

BLAKE: Oh, honey, don’t say that. You’re not crazy.

AMY: I’ve only been at this office for two weeks and I already feel like I’m losing my mind. Waking up at six in the morning so I can be there at seven…having no energy when I get home…and the people there! It’s like they have no life outside that office. All they talk about is work. I’m the first one out the door, and I’m always the last one there, even though I get there early!

BLAKE: Nobody’s ever late?

AMY: Nobody! Maybe they fire them if they’re late even once. No pressure or anything.

BLAKE: I’m sorry. I wish we could live off of my waiting tips alone.

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

BLAKE: Honey, are you all right? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.

AMY: (MORTIFIED) Blake…there’s someone out there.

BLAKE: What?

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: Look out the window…I just saw something move.

BLAKE: It’s too dark for me to see anything.

AMY: I can’t either, but I definitely just saw something move!

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: Oh, God, it must be whoever keeps calling me!

BLAKE: Amy, slow down! What’s going on?

AMY: I think I have a stalker.

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: Someone’s been calling my phone all day. And I think they’re outside right now, watching us.

BLAKE: Jesus, really? OK, don’t answer it. Just turn it off. We’ll call the police.

AMY: Do you really think they’ll listen?

BLAKE: It can’t hurt to try. And then I’ll order a pizza. We’ll even put pineapple on it, you heathen.

SFX: PHONE RUMBLES.

AMY: You know what? We need to end this.

BLAKE: Amy, wait—

SFX: CLICK. STATIC HUMMING.

AMY: Leave me alone, you creep. I’m calling the police.

VOICE ON PHONE: We can see you.

AMY: Can you see my middle finger?

SFX: LINE GOES DEAD.

AMY: Ugh…I sounded way more tough than I actually feel.

BLAKE: Well, I know I’d be scared if I was a stalker.

A PAUSE AS WE MOVE TO LATER, TO THE BEDROOM.

BLAKE: Okay, I’ve locked all the doors and closed all the blinds. Officer Dormer is standing outside. She’ll be keeping watch in case anyone comes, but in all likelihood her presence will be a deterrent in and of itself.

AMY: Blake…thank you. I still don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight, but thank you.

BLAKE: Is that a letter opener in your hand?

AMY: Just in case.

BLAKE: Amy, repeat after me: it’s going to be OK.

AMY: It’s going to be OK.

BLAKE: I’m going to go brush my teeth. I’ll just be in the bathroom. Try to get some sleep.

AMY: Heh…sleep…right.

SFX: SOFT FOOTSTEPS AS BLAKE LEAVES THE ROOM. BLANKETS SHIFT AS AMY TRIES TO SLEEP. SHE SIGHS.

AMY: Just…need to try to fall asleep. It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK…

SFX: A LOUD, SUDDEN STATIC ERUPTION IN THE ROOM.

VOICE: WE CAN TOUCH YOU.

AMY: (SCREAMS) Let go of me!

SFX: BREATH, SLITHERING, WRIGGLING WORMS, THROBBING, HISSING.

AMY: BLAKE! BLAKE, HELP!

SFX: DOOR SLAMS OPEN.

BLAKE: What the hell is that?!

AMY: I don’t know! I’m trying to slash it but it’s like cutting through air!

BLAKE: Amy, get away! It’s growing teeth!

VOICE: WE CAN TASTE YOU!

SFX: A WET CRUNCH.

AMY: (SCREAMS IN PAIN) MY ARM!

VOICE: (GIGGLES, CHEWS) Taste you…

AMY: For God’s sake, get it off me!

VOICE: (LICKING, SMACKING LIPS) Let us eat you…

BLAKE: It looks like it’s made of shadows…Amy, I have an idea!

VOICE: Join us…become one with us…each piece we eat will become more of us…

BLAKE: I’ve got my lighter. I’m gonna set it on fire!

AMY: Hurry!

SFX: FIRE BURNING.

VOICE: (SHRIEKS IN PAIN)

BLAKE: It’s burning!

AMY: Blake, watch out! It’s moving to you!

SFX: ANOTHER WET CRUNCH.

BLAKE: (LETS OUT A HOWL OF PAIN)

SFX: A LOUDER, MORE SUBSTANTIAL CRUNCH CUTS BLAKE’S SCREAM SHORT. HIS HEAD HAS BEEN CRUSHED IN.

AMY: (SCREAMING, HEARTBROKEN) BLAKE! NO!

OFFICER DORMER: Freeze!

SFX: GUNSHOTS.

VOICE: (LETS OUT ONE LOUD FINAL SHRIEK THAT FADES INTO SILENCE)

SFX: FOR A MOMENT, SILENCE. THEN: BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. IT’S A HEART MONITOR. THE SOUND CONTINUES THROUGHOUT THIS FINAL SCENE.

AMY: (WAKING UP) Ugh…

OFFICER DORMER: How do you feel, Miss Sanchez?

AMY: Bad. How long have I been out?

DORMER: A few nights. After you passed out, I got you to the hospital. That…thing took your arm.

AMY: And Blake? Is he…?

DORMER: I’m sorry.

AMY: (SOBS QUIETLY)

DORMER: (NERVOUS) Miss Sanchez…there’s something else.

AMY: What is it? What do you have there?

DORMER: Well…I tried calling your work to tell them what happened. The line was disconnected, so I went over there to tell them in person. It was the strangest thing. The building…had burned down.

AMY: What?

DORMER: That’s not all. I dug through the rubble…and I found this.

SFX: UNWRAPPING OF CLOTH. AMY GASPS.

AMY: …Is that…?

BLAKE: Just bones. But it’s holding a letter opener.

AMY: Officer…that doesn’t make any sense. Why would my arm be in the ashes of that building?


3rd Place

TURN UP AND DIE BY HARRY HUSBANDS

SOUND: THE SOUND OF A BUSY BAR GOES ON IN THE BACKGROUND FOR THE ENTIRETY

NARRATOR: A woman sits alone in a brightly-lit bar. Her dress is torn and frames a gaping wound that bleeds on her left shoulder. She is sipping a beer. A man sits down opposite. The back of his head is open and red like a flower in bloom.

MALE: Can I, like, sit here?

FEMALE: (UNINTERESTED) Go for it…

MALE: Nice wound. What were you on today?

FEMALE: Psycho remake.

MALE: Really?

FEMALE: Yeah.

MALE: Nice. I love the original. My mom was gonna to be in it.

FEMALE: (INTERESTED) Yeah?

MALE: Yeah. She didn’t make the audition though… couldn’t bleed enough on the day.

FEMALE: I hear that. The thin-blooded always get the best roles. It’s total bullshit.

MALE: Yeah…

FEMALE: Anyway, what about you?

MALE: Oh, I don’t know. Like, some zombie thing.

FEMALE: I’m guessing machete?

MALE: Baseball bat, actually. What’s your name?

FEMALE: Female Victim Number 12.

MALE: I’m Male Victim Number 5.

FEMALE: Nice to meet you, Number 5.

MALE: And it’s been good to meet your name. I mean to meet you. It’s been… er… good.

FEMALE: (UNCOMFORTABLY) Thanks…

SILENCE: FOR A MOMENT

MALE: You still look good for it though.

FEMALE: Huh?

MALE: I said you still look good for it.

FEMALE: I don’t…

MALE: The wound.

FEMALE: Oh…

MALE: You still look…

FEMALE: Oh, right, thanks.

SILENCE: FOR A MOMENT

MALE: Anyway, you want a drink?

FEMALE: Sure. Thanks.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS LEAVING THE TABLE

SOUND: A PHONE BEING DIALLED

FEMALE: Hey… No, I’m at the Victim Lounge. There’s a guy here… Well I don’t know if he’s new or not, but it doesn’t seem like he knows. Well, I can’t… Because, he’s buying me a drink! I know. He’s coming back, I’ll see you later.

SOUND: THE BEEP OF THE END OF A CALL

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING THE TABLE

MALE: Here you go.

FEMALE: Thank you so much. Listen, Number 5, I need to tell you—

MALE: No, no. I’m sorry. Really. I hope you don’t think I’ve bad intentions. You must be sick of it. Just a friendly drink and that’s it. Is that alright?

FEMALE: Y-yeah… that’s cool. A friendly drink. Cheers.

SOUND: GLASSES CLINKING TOGETHER

MUSIC: CLASSICAL GUITAR STARTS UP IN THE BACKGROUND AND CONTINUES FOR THE DURATION

FEMALE: So you new to the Victim Lounge?

MALE: Yeah. I’ve just never really drank after work before. I go straight home usually.

FEMALE: What started you?

MALE: Huh?

FEMALE: What started you drinking?

MALE: I’d rather not talk about it…

FEMALE: That’s alr—

MALE: My mom… (SIGH) She died. Decapitated while being decapitated.

FEMALE: Oh, that’s terrible.

MALE: Yeah. They brought in the Victim Act because of it.

FEMALE: That was your mom?

MALE: It was… no big deal though.

FEMALE: Not a big deal? She’s a hero! So many victims will die without dying because of her. I’m sorry your loss.

MALE: Thanks. She was one of the good ones. Damn, excuse me. Bleeding all over the place.

FEMALE: It’s ok. We all bleed together here.

MALE: Thanks. I like bleeding with you.

FEMALE: Hey… I need to tell you, just so you don’t—

SOUND: SPLOOSH SOUND LIKE A STONE FALLING IN WATER

FEMALE: Oh, God damn it! There goes my eye again. This is always happening. How embarrassing. I’ll be right back.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS LEAVING

SILENCE: FOR AROUND 3 SECONDS

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING

FEMALE: Sorry about that. Is it in properly?

MALE: It looks beautiful, I mean fine. It looks fine. And don’t worry about it. Like you said, we all bleed together, right?

FEMALE: Right!

SOUND: GLASSES CLINKING

MALE 2: Mind if I take a seat?

NARRATOR: A second man joins the table and sits beside the first. His ribs are open, showcasing red, glistening innards.

MALE 2: Hey hey, Number 5, you’re looking… Er, well, you know… Yeesh! Right? (CHUCKLES) But who’s this lovely lady?

FEMALE: I’m—

MALE: This is Female Victim Number 12.

MALE 2: It’s a pleasure, angel. A real pleasure.

MALE: Hey, like, can I talk to you for a second? Will you excuse us for a second?

FEMALE: (UNCOMFORTABLE) Yeah… No worries…

SOUND: TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS LEAVE THE TABLE

MALE: (WHISPERED) Back off, dude!

MALE 2: Huh?

MALE: (WHISPERED) She’s mine! I’ve been making good progress. Don’t fuck this up for me.

MALE 2: (WHISPERED) I’ll do what I damn well please.

MALE: (WHISPERED) You’re supposed to be my friend!

MALE 2: (WHISPERED) Yeah and I’m taking her off your hands. She seems crazy. You always go for the crazy ones. I’m helping you out here.

MALE: (WHISPERED) Bullshit, Number 10! Look, just leave us alone, alright?

MALE 2: Alright.

MALE: Alright?

MALE 2: Alright. (WHISPERED) Keep your dang wig on.

SOUND: ONE SET OF FOOTSTEPS APPROACHES THE TABLE

MALE: I’m sorry about that. Number 10, he’s a bit… you know… Too many zombie films. You know… they…

FEMALE: Ate his brains?

MALE: Yeah, exactly. We’re on, like, the same wave length, you know?

FEMALE: I’m sorry, but I have to go… My girlfriend is coming and I’m just going to—

MALE: But we have so much to talk abou— Wait… girl?—

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS SWIFTLY APPROACH

MALE 2: Has he told you about his mom yet?

MALE: Number 10, just fuck off, will you?

FEMALE: What about her?

MALE: Don’t listen—

MALE 2: She’s still alive. He tells all the girls that one about the Victim Act.

MALE: Seriously, dude.

MALE 2: Works usually, but you seem a bit smarter. He’s not all there ya see? Too many zombie films.

FEMALE: I’m going.

MALE: No! Don’t!

MALE 2: He don’t even like stab wounds. Calls them gross—

SOUND: PUNCH FOLLOWED BY MORE PUNCHING AND FIGHTING SOUNDS(GRUNTING ETC) CONTINUE ON. THE BACKGROUND BAR NOISE AND ROCK MUSIC STOP

FEMALE: (OVER THE TOP OF FIGHTING SOUNDS) Fuck this.

SOUND: THE FIGHTING STOPS

MALE & MALE 2: (IN UNISON) Wait!

FEMALE: You’re a pair of losers. I wouldn’t sleep with either of you, even if I liked men.

SOUND: FOOTSTEPS APPROACH

FEMALE 2: Hey sweetheart, sorry I’m late… Who the hell are these two?

NARRATOR: A second woman stands beside the first. Her entire left side is torn and mangled like shredded chilli beef.

FEMALE: Hey gorgeous. They’re fighting over who gets to take me out, or sleep with me. God knows…

MALE 2: And just who is this fine—

FEMALE: It’s my girlfriend, dipshit.

MALE 2: Your girl—?

MALE: But she’s—

FEMALE: A girl? Yeah… Listen, rather than getting your dicks all tangled trying to figure out who’s going to bone me, why couldn’t you have just tried normal conversation? Not every girl wants your baby carrot.

SOUND: FEMALE 2 LAUGHING IN THE BACKGROUND

FEMALE: You wanted a friendly drink, right Number 5?

MALE: Well, yeah, but—

FEMALE: But what? You couldn’t get your brain out your balls long enough to carry on with that idea? Look at both of you, seriously. Step back and look at yourselves. You’re fighting in the goddamn Victim Lounge. This is where we come to get away from the horror. This is where we come to support one another. We’re all in this together and look at you—fighting like a pair of horny apes. Jesus Christ…

SOUND: TWO SETS OF FOOTSTEPS LEAVING

SOUND: THE SOUND OF THE BUSY BAR AND CLASSICAL GUITAR STARTS UP AGAIN

MALE: You fucked that up for me.

MALE 2: What the hell are you talking about?

MALE: Well, I could have had her. Even if she wasn’t, you know…

MALE 2: What?.. Gay?

MALE: Well, yeah…

MALE 2: You’re kidding yourself.

SILENCE: FOR A MOMENT

MALE: What about her with the mangled leg?

MALE 2: I saw her first.


Listen to the contestants battle for points this season on HorrorAddicts.net

Submission Call: Crescendo of Darkness

Cover by Carmen Masloski

Crescendo of Darkness
Edited by Jeremiah Donaldson

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent.” -Victor Hugo

There’s a funny thing that can soothe the soul after a rough day at work, can put you in the mood to take on any challenge, or can transport you back twenty years in time. It’s the most widely enjoyed mode of entertainment and the most used form of mood alteration. Music.

Your story must involve music in some way. This could take the form of a specific genre or song, but also the creation of music, an instrument, or even the lack of music. What would you do if you didn’t have your favorite music to calm your mind or to motivate you? What horrible deeds are prevented on a daily basis because someone listened to their favorite song? How many people are alive because someone heard the right song at the right time? What is the power of music?

Note: This is a HorrorAddicts.net anthology. Your story must be a Horror story and contain something emotionally, physically, or mentally horrifying.

Manuscript Format:
Font: either Courier or Times New Roman.
Double spaced, font 12 point.
Your manuscript must be in either DOC or RTF format.
1st page header to state: author name, mailing address, email address, and word count.
Following pages header to state: author name, story name, and page number.

In the body of the email:
100 words or less bio about you.
One sentence explaining the story attached. Your elevator pitch.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram ids
Your website or blog

Subject of the email state:
CRESCENDO OF DARKNESS/Author Name/Story Title
Send to: horroraddicts@gmail.com

No previously printed work and no simultaneous submissions.

Deadline: October 31st, 2017, 11:59pm PST
Length: 2,000-5,000 words
Payment: $10.00 USD + digital contributor copy
Return time: Final decisions will not be made until AFTER the submission close date (10/31/17). You should expect a return within 3 months of the submission close date.

If you do not receive an email stating your manuscript was received within two weeks of submission, please send a polite query to horroraddicts@gmail.com

For any other questions, please send an email to horroraddicts@gmail.com